Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Songs you won't hear on KLOVE :)

While I was in the hospital, one of my dear friends sent me the new Derek Webb CD, Mockingbird. I have been meaning to blog on it for a while because a) I think it's awesome and b) it is very... different from most Christian music.

I like to read the lyrics to songs the first time I listen to them so I can know what the actual message is. The first song that really caught my attention was "A King and a Kingdom." Here are the lines that struck me:

my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king & a kingdom

there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

My jaw absolutely dropped when I heard that! Not from horror, but because I've never heard anything like this in Christian music! Oh but wait, there's more.

One of my favorite songs on the CD is called, "I Hate Everything." Here's the chorus:

it’s been one of those kinds of days
and i feel so out of place
and i hate everything, everything
i hate everything but you

Typically I despise the word "hate" and think it is used far too casually by many people, but here I think it's cute. Who hasn't had one of those days where they "hate" the world and just want to be with/talk to that one person, be it a boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, or dog. But can't you just see KLOVE playing a song called "I Hate Everything"? Heehee, that makes me laugh.

Next up on the list is a powerful song called "Rich Young Ruler," which has earned the entire song being posted:

poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv and twenty miles across town
where we’re all living so good
that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
where he’s hungry and not feeling so good
from going through our trash
he says, more than just your cash and coin
i want your time, i want your voice
i want the things you just can’t give me

so what must we do
here in the west we want to follow you
we speak the language and we keep all the rules
even a few we made up
come on and follow me
but sell your house, sell your suv
sell your stocks, sell your security
and give it to the poor
what is this, hey what’s the deal
i don’t sleep around and i don’t steal
i want the things you just can’t give me

because what you do to the least of these
my brothers, you have done it to me
because i want the things you just can’t give me

What a beautiful call for social justice. This really made me reconsider the story of the rich young ruler. In my own self-righteousness, I never really identified myself with him. But if we in America aren't the rich young rulers, then who is?

"My Enemies are Men Like Me" is so blunt and to the point, it really speaks for itself:

how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me
i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
my enemies are men like me

peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and then showing them by way of execution

when justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war
the ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor

because i would rather die
i would rather die
i would rather die
than to take your life

The last song I want to talk about is "Love is not Against the Law." Again, a strong commentary on loving enemies:

politics or love can make you blind or make you see
make you a slave or make you free

but only one does it all

and it’s giving up your life
for the ones you hate the most
it’s giving them your gown
when they’ve taken your clothes
it’s learning to admit
when you’ve had a hand
in setting them up
in knocking them down

love is not against the law

love is not against the law

are we defending life

when we just pick and choose

lives acceptable to lose
and which ones to defend
‘cause you cannot choose your friends
but you choose your enemies

and what if they were one

one and the same

could you find a way to love them both the same
to give them your name

Well there you go. When something impacts me as much as this CD did, I just feel a need to share it on the blog, even though it makes for a lengthy post that I doubt many will make it through. :)

Derek Webb is a modern day prophet, and it seems that each of his CDs tackle a different issue. I'm glad he had the intestinal fortitude to tackle these subjects.

As the title says, I doubt we'll be hearing KLOVE play these songs anytime before Jesus comes. :)


Mark and Kelly said...

Yatta! I've been looking for some Christian music that wasn't so...K-Love-y... thank goodness for friends' good recommendations and iTunes!

misty! said...

for some reason, i thought you were going to post lyrics by master p.

what a great cd!--and 'intestinal fortitude', i love it.

crittermer said...

I saw this CD in the store a week or 2 ago and I thought of you--knowing your love of Derek Webb and all things social justice.=) (Sounds like somebody beat me to the punch!) I haven't actually heard it yet, but I was intrigued by the content on the cover. You have intrigued me even more. Sounds like good stuff!

Alayna said...

Thanks for sharing this CD with us. :) I have also been looking for new Christian music. I can't help feeling bad for being annoyed at so much of the music I hear on K-Love. How horrible am I that I hate songs that contain solely one word of praise, like "Gloria" or "Hosanna", over and over and over and over and... Does this mean that I dread being in heaven and singing hosanna for all of eternity? Maybe... : ) Or maybe it's because I know that this life is more than "gloria"; it has problems and pain and we need to cry out! And I become very concerned when I do not see people wrestling openly and communally with their faith! So thanks again for sharing with us, Ann!

Even though I do not post regularly on your blog, I have been reading it regularly and keeping up with you through our mutual friends. You have been in my prayers through all of your recent trails. And I am glad to see you posting again; you always have such wonderful insight.

Neener said...

Derek Webb, goooood stuff. As far as his oldies go, just wanted to make sure you have already listend to "I Repent," "Wedding Dress," and "She Must and Shall Go Free." I had the opportunity to listen to him play at a church in Lubbock and immediately fell in love with his passion for church reformation. Goooood stuff!

Alissa said...

You know, with your passion for social reform and Brazil, you might really enjoy reading Paolo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Anonymous said...

I actually think Jesus is a middle-class white Republican. I take offense to this kind of honest music. Democracy is the only Christian model, it's in the Bible somewhere.
Haha! I might have to get this CD.

crittermer said...

Glad to know Ben is continuing in his tradition of being snide whenever the occasion permits.=) Anyway, I broke down and got this CD. Thanks for giving me an excuse to spend more money, Ann. It (the CD) is wonderful! I could reiterate many of your thoughts, but I think my favorite song is actually "A New Law." Maybe I will blog about it soon.=)

Peter Rice said...

Hey, Ann, I have a brief anecdote for you. I am seldom able to remember my dreams. But I did have a dream two night ago, and the only part of it I remember is that for some reason I was listening to K-Love... So thank you for invading my unconscious. Glad you're feeling better. Praise God!